Nail polish users exposed to chemical linked to paralysis, reproductive disorders, study finds Sunday, November 01, 2015 by Julie Wilson
(NaturalNews) Most women like to indulge in a nice, relaxing manicure every once in awhile, which doesn't come as a surprised because, well, let's face it, who doesn't enjoy a good neck massage coupled with freshly painted nails?
The nail trend is growing trendier, as American women spent a whopping $768 million on nail polish in 2012, according to WWD.com, a number 32 percent higher than the year prior.
Unfortunately, we're beginning to learn that what may seem like an innocent pastime poses more risks than we beauty lovers may have bargained for.
A brand new study conducted jointly by Duke University and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered traces of a rather toxic chemical in the bodies of women who had recently painted their nails.
25 percent of polishes containing TPHP didn't have it listed on their label
Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), a plasticizer dually used in nail polish and as a flame retardant for furniture, was detected in the urine of every woman who volunteered to participate in the study.
"The study found that when women applied nail polish with TPHP directly to their nails, the levels of a biomarker of that chemical in their urine increased sharply. Technically, the researchers tested the women's urine for a chemical called diphenyl phosphate or DPHP, which is created when the body metabolizes TPHP."
Published October 19 in Environment International, the study involved the testing of ten nail polishes, with scientists finding traces of TPHP in eight of them; two of the eight polishes containing TPHP did not have the ingredient listed on their label.
"The results represent compelling evidence that TPHP, a suspected endocrine-disrupting chemical also used in plastics manufacturing and as a fire retardant in foam furniture, enters the human body via nail polish," says EWG.
TPHP caused paralysis in cats"These results are troubling because a growing body of scientific data from other studies indicates that TPHP causes endocrine disruption, meaning that it interferes with normal hormone functioning. In animal studies, it has caused reproductive and developmental irregularities. (Some studies use the acronym TPP for this chemical.)"
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,[PDF] "Repeated exposure [to TPHP] may cause minor changes in the blood enzymes." Animal studies found that overexposure to TPHP causes muscle weakness and paralysis.
For example, when TPHP (also a neurotoxin) was injected into cats, it caused delayed paralysis, with two of six cats becoming paralyzed after 16–18 days upon receiving one "intraperitoneal injection" of the chemical at 0.1 to 0.4 g/kg.
Since researchers tested such a small sample size, and not the manufacturers' entire nail polish product line, they decided not to disclose which brands contained TPHP; however, the Duke team hopes some or all of the manufacturers will update their product labels to disclose the presence of TPHP pending the results of their recent findings.
While researchers didn't name the culprits by brand, EWG has built an extensive list of cosmetics and the potentially harmful ingredients that they contain, including nail polishes that have TPHP. Some of the top-selling brands containing the endocrine mimicker are featured below.
**On October 20th 2015, Butter London informed EWG that it had removed triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) from its products last year. However, EWG was still able to find nail polish products containing triphenyl phosphate on store shelves in September 2015. If you would like to avoid triphenyl phosphate, please check the label on Butter London products and purchase ones with the newer formulation that do not contain this ingredient.
According to EWG, TPHP is likely added to nail polish to give it more flexibility and durability.
"The concentrations in the eight nail polishes with TPHP ranged from 0.49 percent to 1.68 percent by weight. Clear polishes generally contained more TPHP than colored polishes."
Attempting to understand how the body absorbs TPHP, researchers asked participants to collect urine samples before and after they applied "a polish that was about 1 percent TPHP by weight.
"When the participants wore gloves and applied polish to synthetic nails, their urinary levels of the metabolite DPHP did not change appreciably. However, when they applied the polish directly to their own nails, the levels of DPHP in their urine increased sharply."
While nails typically aren't that permeable, scientists speculate that solvents such as nail polish remover allow toxic ingredients to be absorbed into the body more readily. The network of capillaries surrounding the nail bed may also play a role in chemical intake, reports EWG.
"Two to six hours after they painted their nails, 24 of the 26 volunteers in the study had slightly elevated levels of DPHP in their urine. Ten to 14 hours after polishing their nails, the DPHP levels in all 26 participants had risen by an average of nearly sevenfold, suggesting that more of the TPHP had entered their bodies and been metabolized into DPHP.
"Four volunteers collected urine over 48 hours. For three of the four, their concentrations of DPHP peaked between 10 and 20 hours after painting their nails," reports EWG.
For a list of seven non-toxic nail polish brands.
1. Zoya. Created by Zoya and Michael Reyzis of Art of Beauty, Zoya nail polish revolutionized the nail industry when it began making long-lasting, toxin-free polish. Eliminating toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP from its polishes, Zoya has quickly become one of the most popular 5-free nail polish brands out there. With new colors released each season, you’ll be sure to find the perfect shade for every occasion.
2. Suncoat. Since 2001, Suncoat has been crafting nail polishes with a water base and no toxins. Rather than replacing known toxins with other chemicals, a common practice among nail polish makers, Suncoat uses water. With mineral pigments and natural ingredients to boot, who can complain? Check out their peelable nail polish (no remover needed!) and nail art for an all-natural manicure that will have everyone staring.
3. Piggy Paint. Founder Melanie Hurley was horrified when she saw what the nail polish she was putting on her children’s nails did to a styrofoam plate. She dedicated herself to making a water-based, non-flammable, non-toxic nail polish that has an almost unnoticeable odor. The vibrant colors of this hypoallergenic and cruelty-free lacquer make Piggy Paint the perfect option for fun-loving kids of any age.
4. Honeybee Gardens. Look at the ingredients of Honeybee Gardens’ nail polish and you’re bound to let out a breath you didn’t know you’d been holding. This polish uses a special, water-based formula that’s 3-free, nearly odorless and free of FD&C colors (synthetic food dyes that can be used in food, drink and cosmetics). With 25 colors including the striking blue “Oasis,” deep black “Abyss” and fiery red “Burlesque,” finding one to match your personality should be easy (but picking only one may not be).
5. RGB. Like Zoya, this luxury eco-minded nail polish is 5-free, plus all of RGB’s products are cruelty-free, vegan and made in the U.S. With a wide array of colors available, there’s something for every green-ista in this collection. Although it’s on the pricier side, knowing that your product is helping the Earth and your nails is well worth it.
6. Sheswai. Three-free and eco-chic, Sheswai nail polish has succeeded in creating a brand that appreciates natural glamour. If the names of the colors aren’t enough to grab you (think “yowza”), Sheswai uses sustainably harvested wood as an alternative to the typical plastic cap. No products are tested on animals and a portion of the profits are donated to organizations dedicated to sustainability, such as the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Foundation. A product that does good and makes you look good? Sign us up!
7. LVX. Similar to RGB, LVX (Latin for “light”) is 5-free, vegan, cruelty-free and produced in the U.S. Co-founder Branka Tomic has a love for high fashion that translates into the sleek, high quality hues you’ll find on their website. LVX polishes don’t come cheap, but if you’ve been searching for the perfect combination of luxury and eco-friendly, this is the nail polish to try.
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